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Diego Maradona delays return to Mexico following health scare

Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona was released from hospital after being admitted earlier on Friday with internal bleeding in the stomach which was discovered during routine examinations.

The 58-year-old was having a routine medical in his homeland before returning to Mexico, where he is coach of second division side Dorados de Sinaloa, when doctors discovered the problem.

However, a source close to the family told Reuters the problem was not serious and that the former Boca Juniors, Napoli and Barcelona midfielder, who famously led his country to the 1986 World Cup title, was not in any danger.

Maradona later told Argentina outlet Radio La Red afterward that "nothing happened."

"The love doesn't change, everyone wished me well," Maradona said.

Dorados de Sinaloa coach Diego Armando Maradona
Diego Maradona left the hospital on Friday following internal bleeding in the stomach.

Friday's scare was the latest for Maradona, who has suffered frequent periods in hospital over the years, often due to the extravagant lifestyle that helped make him one of the most admired and iconic footballers of the 20th century.

He last fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game. Argentina won 2-1 to reach the last 16, where they were knocked out of the tournament by eventual winners France.

Maradona was taken into hospital in 2004 with severe heart and respiratory problems linked to cocaine use. He later underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba and Argentina before a stomach-stapling operation in 2005 helped him lose weight.

In 2007 he checked himself into a clinic in Buenos Aires to help him overcome alcohol abuse problems.

In recent months he has walked with the aid of crutches due to problems with his knees.

The unexpected news of his admittance to hospital on Friday came just hours after Maradona's lawyer confirmed he would coach in Mexico for a second consecutive season.

Maradona took over at struggling Dorados de Sinaloa in September and got them into the playoffs where they lost to Atletico San Luis.

"Diego Maradona has arranged to continue with the Dorados de Sinaloa and will stay as coach of the team for the whole season," his agent Matias Morla wrote on Twitter.

The club said an assistant coach would lead the team until Maradona returned.

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